To create his latest array of ceramic treasures, Belgian artist Eric Croes let his imagination run wild.
It's been a slow and steadypath for Belgian artist Eric Croes, who retired his paintbrush five years ago after painting for a decade. "I was fed up and wasn't finding my voice, so I stopped for two years and took up night classes to study ceramics ,'' he explains during a recent visit to his Brussels studio. "I became passionate about the material."
Following his highly successful show at Paris's VNH Gallery this past spring, it's clear he has now found his way creatively. At first glance, his ceramic works are fanciful and fun-full of bold hues and imaginary creatures that he has fashioned into totems, birdhouses, and table lamps. However, he explains, they are also highly intimate statements, "a way to speak about very personal things without bothering anyone." Taking inspiration from his own memories and surroundings, Croes builds up his sculptures like collage, piecing together images and forms.
At times he'll riff on games like exquisite corpse, wherein multiple players draw different parts of a figure. In other cases, he'll impose his own rules. For his upcoming solo exhibition, opening January 2019 at Santa Monica 's Richard Heller Gallery, Croes gave his family members disposable cameras to take pictures of their daily lives. (No Photoshop allowed, hence the old-school devices.) He has since developed their images - en larbring them, cutting out figures, mixing everything up. "The idea is to make a family portrait," Croes explains. "This will be a way for me to have them with me on my first trip to America. I don't even have a passport yet! I'm excited. I just want people to see my work." Gay Gassmann